How to Save Money on Printer Ink Cartridges

How to Save Money on Printer Ink Cartridges

There is no doubt about it. Printer ink is insanely expensive, even costly than the printer itself. Ever wondered why companies offer you crazy deals on printers? It is because once you own one, you’ll always be buying printer ink, and that’s where they make money. Whether it is for personal or business use, you can spend a significant amount of money on (printing costs) either on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, depending on the frequency you print. Interested in learning how to get more out of your ink cartridges? Tag along as we give you a comprehensive guide and tips on how to save money on printer ink.

Image: Shutterstock

Get a High-Quality Printer

One the one hand, if you print a lot, then you might save money by getting a higher quality printer because the cost per page is less. However, the upfront cost of purchasing such a printer is high. On the other hand, if you do no print often, a less expensive, low-quality printer may serve the purpose, and save you money in the long run.

Refillable Ink Tanks

People who do heavy printing of photos and documents can save money by getting printers with refillable tanks. All you have to do when you run out of ink is to top up the ink bottles and carry on with your printing. You will just be buying replacements to refill the tanks once they run empty. Examples of printers that come with refillable tanks include Epson EcoTanks and Canon’s Pixma G-Series .

Get an Ink Subscription

Most people don’t buy off-the-shelf original equipment manufacturer (OEM) cartridges because of the high costs. To make your purchase worth it, some major companies introduced subscription services intended to help you save money.

  • Canon. Through their Recurring Ink & Toner Program , Canon allows you to pre-schedule orders based on how often you need to replace your ink or toner. Simply pick when you want to receive your ink or toner, and they will have it delivered right to your doorstep.
  • Hewlett Packard (HP). HP’s Instant Ink automatically sends a message letting the company know that your printer is getting low on ink so it gets delivered before you run out. Choose a plan depending on your printing frequency so that you never run out of ink again.
  • Brother. Through their Ink & Toner Auto-Fulfillment Program, you never have to worry about your ink running out since the technology incorporated in the printer automatically detects when you need a refill.
Image: Shutterstock

Buy Inks from Third Parties

We mentioned earlier that OEM cartridges are the best quality. However, they can be quite costly. To save money, you can opt for cheaper inks from third-party or non-OEM suppliers. For instance, you could purchase ink cartridges from online stores like Amazon or Best Buy.

Make Use of Web Site’s ‘Print’ Option

When you print a web page, everything on that page gets on paper, including logos and advertisements. This is a waste of ink, and to avoid it, some web sites offer a print option that allows you to print just black text – without the unwanted content. You will find the “Print” option on the browser’s settings. Be sure to check out the preview first before you print to see what is likely to appear on paper.

Use Draft Mode and Different Fonts

If you want to print something for your reference only, and nothing fancy, the draft or ‘fast’ mode can help you save on cartridges. While the print quality will not be as you'd wish, the text will be legible. Likewise, avoid using bold fonts as they use up much more ink than normal fonts, especially when you are printing loads of pages. Chunky fonts like Verdana and Comic Sans are said to use up more ink than fonts like Garamond and Times New Roman.

To Consider Before Your Purchase

To choose the right printer, you should consider several factors, such as:

  • How frequently do you plan to print on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis? The more you print, the more ink you will use.
  • Will you be printing lots of photos, flyers, presentations, or just texts? If you print texts only, you will typically need black ink only. If you print photos and flyers, you will need color ink, which is more expensive.
  • What functions and features are you looking for in a printer? Different brands and models have unique applications and features that might be suitable for your kind of printing.

Any thoughts? Let us know your comments!

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